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Kenosha Man Known As The “Black Kyle Rittenhouse” Is Free After Having Charge Dismissed

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Jarred Cooks The “Black Kyle Rittenhouse” , 28, of Kenosha, WI
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Jarred Cooks, a 28-year-old Kenosha man, walked out of the Kenosha County Courthouse today as a free man, with a big smile. In court today, preparations were underway for a trial that was scheduled for April 8, 2024 – just 11 days away. Instead, today a Circuit Court Judge dismissed the serious felony against Cooks, at the request of the prosecutor. He was facing one count of First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Use of a Dangerous Weapon. If found guilty for the shooting that he and his attorney called self defense, Cooks faced a maximum prison sentence of close to 20 years. Cooks has been dubbed “The Black Kyle Rittenhouse” because he and Rittenhouse both were charged by the Kenosha DA’s office for shootings that were obviously justified.

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In the early hours of Wednesday, May 27, 2020, Cooks and his cousin were on the porch of his cousin’s home talking with friends. There we some younger kids sitting on their porch next door, too. It was a beautiful summer evening.

Out of nowhere, three cars turned onto 61st St and began to approach Cooks and his family, one from the east, and one from the west. The two cars started spraying bullets and Cooks and his cousin – the younger neighbors were also shot at. Dozens of bullets were flying eastbound and westbound.

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Cooks and his cousin were both legally carrying firearms. Both said to police that they were almost sure they were about to die. They shot back at the two cars. They were still shaken up and in shock, so they did not remember exactly where they shot at.

Cooks said being shot at by at least three gunmen was traumatizing. “I wake up every day and think about the shooting – what could have happened to me. But I made it out alive and I’m going to try to my best to forget about it and leave it in the past,” said Cooks.

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Cooks was arrested and charged with the very serious felony. Almost four years have passed.

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Krejcarek
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Cooks took a generous plea deal offered by Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Krejcarek. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Cooks plead guilty to disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property both very minor misdemeanors. Cook said he appreciated that Krejcarek gave him the offer and he took the deal, becuase he just wanted the “nightmare” to end. “It’s been too long and I’m just tired of this case,” said Cooks. “If I would have went to trail, I think we would have won, but it’s all right, I’ll take this deal.”

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Cooks attorney, seasoned criminal defense attorney Denise Hertz-McGrath, agreed with Cooks’ assessment of the case. “We would have won at a jury trial, because this was absolutely a self-defense shooting,” said Denise Hertz-McGrath. “I’m pleased that ADA Krejcarek was very reasonable and saw the challenges with this case.” According to comments made today, Krejcarek seemingly conceded that it would be no easy task to convict Cooks.

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Gerad Dougvillo
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Hertz-McGrath told KCE that in one year Cooks can send a letter to Judge Dougvillo and ask for the two misdemeanor charges to be expunged, or sealed from the public record. This was a request that ADA Krejcarek didn’t oppose. Judge Dougvillo asked the lawyers why there was such a difference from the initial charge and what Cook plead guilty to. Krejcarek explained that the incident was complete chaos and that Cooks was the only one that night legally carrying a firearm. Hertz-McGrath noted the amount of bullets that were fired towards her client and how lucky he was to be alive. Judge Dougvillo was convinced that Cooks didn’t deserve jail, or even probation. Instead, Dougvillo gave Cooks a small fine.

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Shabazz Cooks-Harris, Jarred Cooks, and Karice Rivelli On the Courthouse Steps Thursday
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

“I feel amazing. I feel like there’s a weight off my shoulders and I’m a free man,” Cooks told KCE Thursday afternoon. Cooks was joined in court by his mother, father and his fiance, who is almost nine months pregnant. Cooks’ fiance, Karice Rivelli, was prepared for the worse case scenario – that her daughter would be born while her father was in prison. “I feel great,” said Rivelli. “Our unborn little girl has a great Dad. He’s awesome. He’s a protector, a provider, it’s going to be great knowing that he’s going to be there by our side when our little girl is born.”

Cooks’ mother, Shabazz Cooks-Harris, told KCE that Cooks is her youngest child – her baby. “My baby is the best person in the world. He’s the best person I know. He’s special. He is everything… so I’m just thankful that it’s over and I’m glad justice prevailed,” Cooks-Harris told KCE after court. Hearing his mother speak about him caused Cooks to fight back tears of joy. Even this author was a little choked up.

Cooks thanked God for the good news, which came just days before Easter and the birth of his first child. “This is a blessing. I’m ready to start my new life with my new family.”

Jarred Cooks The “Black Kyle Rittenhouse” , 28, of Kenosha, WI
(Facebook)
Shabazz Cooks-Harris, Jarred Cooks, and Karice Rivelli On the Courthouse Steps Thursday
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Jarred Cooks In Front Of The Kenosha County Courthouse Thursday
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Shabazz Cooks-Harris, Jarred Cooks, and Karice Rivelli On the Courthouse Steps Thursday
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Author

  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.

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40 Responses

  1. I’m not sure that Judge Schroeder, if he was still on the bench, would have rubber stamped this plea bargain.

    Judge Schroeder might well have pressed the issue of why Cooks, if he’s not guilty, would plead out to any crime. Plea bargains may take another case off the court calendar but they don’t always achieve justice, especially if an acquittal would be the best result.

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    1. Bruce Schroeder, being the very honorable man that he is, would have let Jarred off of these insipid charges for sure. The man did NOTHING wrong!

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      1. YEAH RIGHT…BLACK MAN…HE RACIST ASS HELL HAVENT ONE AFRICAN WALKED OUT HIS COURT WITH SOME TYPE OF TIME OR PROBATION.

    2. Schroeder wouldn’t have accepted the plea bargain, but would have dismissed all charges and let the guy go .

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  2. Didn’t read the article did u? But u saw his pic and the word “black”. damn!

    That he had to jump thru any hoops is ridiculous. Self defense for sure.

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    1. You said it! Fact of the matter it was idiotic to associate this was a “Kyle Rittenhouse” act-alike. Mr Cook would have been legitimately in a stand your ground/protect his homestead just as much as self-defense for being shot at. I for one am very thankful no one was killed in this (unless I read that wrong). Having to recite or incite “black” has zero relevance here unless it was discriminatory. At least the system worked the way it should have abliet 4 years too slow.

  3. Glad he’s free. Everyone legal should carry. But Kyle didn’t miss. Took out a pedophile, a thief, and a woman abuser. The Kenosha Hat Trick.

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    1. Being in possession of a firearm (illegally), acting in a capacity that requires maturity (certainly didn’t have it as demonstrated in courtroom bawlings and actions taken, whether a person who becomes a victtim of a crime was a criminal or had faults themselves has zero relevance if a loss of life happens. They always say in car accidents you’re 10% at fault automatically even if you didn’t cause it, simply because you were there. Try adjusting the percentages there…

      1. If the firearm that Kyle was holding had been illegal, he would have been charged and convicted. The da tried that. It was thrown out, because it was not illegal. A handgun would have been illegal.

        A military psychologist wrote the book “On Killing”. He explained that service members are often more traumatized and suffer PTSD from shooting an enemy in combat versus facing incoming mortal danger. It is our humanness that killing another human being, even when it’s absolutely necessary in a life or death situation, is traumatic.

        Only a sociopath would mock the maturity of a 17 year old boy for displaying emotional trauma for having to testify and relive the decisions he had to make to pull the trigger at the very last possible split second, when an almost 40 year old man, a violent felon (still under Court control as a serious sex offender), was trying to grab the boy’s gun away after threatening to murder him (Kyle’s offended the man and his friends by extinguishing a dangerous dumpster fire that was “owned” by the rioters), and another adult male violent felon tried to grab the boy’s gun away while chasing down the boy who was running away towards the police, and another adult male felon pointed his gun at Kyle’s face, while Kyle was surrounded by a baying mob intent on ending him.

        Many highly trained gun experts display less trigger control in similar panic situations. Kyle should get a career in training cops and gun owners how to stay safe and not squeeze the trigger until it’s absolutely imperative.

        Yes, you’re a POS for continuing to push a fictional narrative.

        I might not have known all that had I not watched the 1 hour video documentary on the Rittenhouse events by the leftist channel V-Radio.

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  4. Although I truly believe this man should not have been charged I am glad that he is able to move on before his child is born. Jury’s get it wrong sometimes, we have personal experience with a case going south. My husband’s former employee was shot in the back by his estranged wife’s new boyfriend, 15 years younger & a marshal arts instructor and the jury accepted it was self defense. I pray this man has a truly wonderful life!

  5. Thank heavens and I believe his freedom is due in large part to your efforts, Kevin! Jarred sounds like a wonderful man–may God richly bless him!

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  6. Thank God. I have been praying for this man since I first read about his story. He should have never been charged. If he was white there would have been no charges. I’m so glad justice was served. God bless this man and his young family. 🙏🏻❤️

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    1. He is being called “Black Kyle Rittenhouse”. If he had gone to trial, he wouldn’t have been charged with ANYTHING, just like Kyle, but he chose to take a deal to be done with it. Kyle is white, he was charged. Went to trial and then acquitted. White people get charged too. Jarred chose to take a deal instead and move on with his life, even though we all know it was self defense and he never should have been charged with anything. It’s sad he even HAD to take a deal. Sounds like the terrible things they keep doing to the Jan 6 people who did nothing wrong. Creating a charge they never should be charged with just to be able to live your life again!

      The guy was innocent, but let’s not make this worse than it is saying if he was white he wouldn’t have been charged etc… BTW…have you read KCE articles and see how many “certain people” Gravely and the Walworth County DA has let off with no charges or very minor charges after they actually DID commit bad crimes! Jarred Cooks and Kyle should run for office here in Kenosha County! We need officials that REALLY want to keep Kenosha County safe!

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    2. Wait…. Did you just say that the guy they call “the black Rittenhouse” wouldn’t have been charged if he was white? You know…named after the guy that WAS white, who got charged and had to go to trial to end his nightmare ? Not a sweetheart plea deal. Are you just so used to spitting that dumb shit out that you didn’t realize what you were saying? Because nobody can be that dumb.

    3. The entire context of this article is tying this case to a WHITE DUDE WHO WAS CHARGED and taken to trial for first-degree murder, as well as reckless use of a firearm, for a similar, though different in some respects, clear-cut case of self-defense.
      Both that white boy and this black man were facing imminent bodily injury and possible death by gunfire. In the White boys case, one of his attackers possessed an illegal firearm and pointed it at the boy’s face, while the other two attackers attempted to seize the boy’s rifle to shoot him, after one loudly threatened to murder him.

  7. This guy was legitimately defending himself. Kyle went out of his way to be in the situation he was in. Big difference.

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    1. Are you saying that self defense isn’t applicable depending on where you choose to go? Think before you speak.

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  8. Should have never been charged, but having made the mistake the DA’s office under its incompetent management couldn’t let it go without a plea deal making him take a deal with 2 bullshit charges. No one currently involved with this DA’s office should be allowed to lead it.

  9. The District Attorney brought the charges and does not care if the shooter is innocent or guilty. They prosecute them in order to stop people from defending themselves. Kenosha liberals envy New York.

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  10. First off don’t compare him to Kyle…why do people do this! Just causing bullshit🤦‍♀️ Mr Cooks was protecting himself & family, Kyle came here looking for bs! Glad Cooks is a free man👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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    1. You may not have read the news, but Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges. You really should read the basics of a topic before you make false assertions in public

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    2. Seems like Cooks disagrees with you, considering he spoke to the KCE for multiple articles about it.

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  11. That picture of the family with his pregnant fiance is really beautiful. A picture speaks a thousand words.

  12. I hope the DOJ doesn’t give him any grief with his CCL. The misdemeanor charges shouldn’t affect it, but with our government you never know.

  13. I don’t see why he had any charges at all. That’s the issue with states that don’t have “Stand your Ground” law. Can’t wait to move back to Florida.

  14. Kev Head reporting on a court victory for a colored man? Fake Hell has frozen over. Also, a great picture showing that black folks are breeding. what a relief. It is great to see the charges dropped against a man of color. Since there is no free will, a person, even a colored folk should not be held responsible for their actions because they did not decide. peace from yaxcaba mexico ranch, selling my sheep today.

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    1. You are mentally unstable. No one enjoys reading your dumb comments and no one cares that you’re in Mexico.

  15. Shows how stupid people can be, his circumstances had absolutely nothing to do with rittenhouse, and certainly didn’t have as good an outcome. It is a shame that this person should have to mount any kind of legal defense when he obviously did nothing wrong. Self defense against firearms is absolutely legal with a firearm. He should have had to plea to nothing, and should be able to sue for damages incurred by the original shooters, who historically would be back on the street anyway in Kenosha.

    1. Both this black man in the white teenage boy faced imminent death by a group of attackers. The black man by drive by shooters. The white boy by three adult males with a history of violent felonies.

      I don’t have to recount the circumstances. V-Radio (who was an occupy protester) produced a documentary over an hour long taken from phone cameras and drone footage, revealing the entire context of events leading up to the shootings.

      This included direct imminent death threats followed by a foot chase in which the shooter, Kyle, tried desperately to disengage, calling out that he was a “friendly”. That did not deter the first man who was attempting to end his life. Leaving the scene by running towards the police did not deter the later two men who were also trying to kill him and to prevent him from reaching the police.

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